Harman Wins 7TH U.S., First Canadian Title

Mark Harman of Ridgeland, South Carolina, won his seventh United States Golf Teachers Cup championship and first CGTF Cup title when he defeated runner-up and reigning World Golf Teachers Cup champion Shafiq Masih of Canada by two strokes at the combined event at Ussher’s Creek Golf Course in Niagara Falls, Ontario, October 2-3. Harman’s 75-73 – 148, the highest winning score since 2001, highlighted the difficult conditions on the 6,500-yard layout. Heavy rains soaked the course prior to the tournament, and combined with the cool Canadian weather, distance was hard to come by as the course played extremely long.

Grant Gulych of St. Thomas, Ontario, repeated at the United States Senior Golf Teachers Cup champion, shooting scores of 71-73 – 144 to best runner-up Bill Hardwick by five shots. Dave Belling and Brent Davies finished in a tie for third at 151. Gulych also won the concurrent CGTF Cup senior division. Gurismar Bawal won the Ladies division with scores of 78-67 – 145. Her second-round score set a new 18-hole Ladies division record for both the U.S. and CGTF events. Canada’s Vito Cisternino took home Super Senior division honors in both tournaments with scores of 78-79 – 157, besting runners-up Greg Salazar and Bob Richardson by six strokes.

World Cup in Costa Rica Set for Feb. 12-15

The 14th biennial World Golf Teachers Cup has been confirmed for February 12-15, 2019, at La Iguana Golf Club in Herradura, Costa Rica, approximately a 90-minute drive from the main airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. The entry fee will be $495 and will cover four days of golf, range balls before and after play, prize money, tournament amenities and a closing banquet and awards ceremony. Travel and lodging costs to and within Costa Rica is on a par with travel within the United States. Practice rounds will be available February 11 and before. Exact details will be set by November 1, so make your plans now to attend. Entries will be handled through the USGTF National Office at (888) 346-3290, and also at 1295 SE Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL 34952. Online registration will be made available shortly at www.WorldGolfTeachersCup.com, so please check that website periodically for updates.

Peters Named Penick Award Winner for 2018

Longtime USGTF member James Peters of Newport, Kentucky, was named the sixth winner of the Harvey Penick Trophy for Excellence in Golf Teaching at the closing banquet and awards ceremony at the CGTF/United States Golf Teachers Cup in Niagara Falls, Ontario, October 3. Peters teaches at Etter’s Golf Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and gives approximately 1,000 lessons per year. According to Peters, looking and listening are the most important aspects of teaching. “I always liked the saying, ‘You have two eyes, two ears and one mouth; use them in that proportion.'”

Peters is also an accomplished player, having in the past won USGTF Southeast and Central Region titles. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Peters has been a longtime member and supporter of the USGTF. The Penick award is given annually to the USGTF member whose teaching accomplishments and service to the golf community are exemplary.

Mental Rules for Teaching Golf

Published by Dr. Gregg M. Steinberg, Ph.D., Mental Rules for Teaching Golf, this book has 61 innovative strategies for unleashing your teaching potential. It has been described as “an entertaining and illustrative interpretation of golf teaching advice.” This is the consummate golf psychology book for teaching professionals.

The cost of the book is $12.95. To order, please call the USGTF National Office at 1-888-346-3290.

Gulych Wins Central Region Championship

Grant Gulych from St. Thomas, Ontario, shot 71-76 – 147 at Pine Knob Golf Club in Clarkston, Michigan, to win the 2018 Central Region Championship August 4-5. Gulych took a three-shot lead into the final round over Central Region director Brent Davies and last year’s champion Matt Smith, and was five shots clear of two-time champion Jim Peters.

Gulych made several key putts during his final round, none tougher than a very fast downhill slider for birdie on the short but very difficult eighth hole on the Eagle course at Pine Knob, maintaining a one-shot lead over Davies and four shots clear of Smith. Gulych played the first five holes of the back nine on the very tight and tricky Hawk course at 1-under and cruised to a four-shot victory over Davies, who finished with 74-77 – 151, and seven shots clear of Smith from Pataskala, Ohio, and Peters of Newport, Kentucky. Dan Estevan from Ontario came in fifth place with 79-79 – 158. Peters and David Delville from Ontario tied for first place in the net competition side with a 142 total.

“PRO” File – European Ryder Cup Team

Much was made of the touted United States Ryder Cup “task force,” formed in 2014 after Phil Mickelson publicly called for the U.S. squad to “return to the winning formula” of 2008. Much was also made of the “success” of the task force in 2016 after Team USA won the Cup at Hazeltine in Minnesota. Overlooked in 2016 was the relative weakness of the European squad, and the fact that the U.S. and Europe had alternated victories on U.S. soil since 1983, so the winning effort by the U.S. meant nothing changed. The real test would be on European soil. And the United States failed that test miserably, which is the big story in the U.S. But the truth is Team Europe played wonderful golf at such a high level that it’s doubtful that any 12 non-Europeans could have emerged victorious. And it was only fitting that Francesco Molinari, the reigning Open champion, clinched the Cup after defeating Mickelson in the Sunday singles. Hats off to Molinari and his teammates Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Alex Noren, Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, Jon Rahm, Tyrrell Hatton and Thorbjorn Oleson, not to mention captain Thomas Bjorn. There’s something about Team Europe playing at home that inspires them to be a virtually unbeatable juggernaut. Credit Europe for a job well done.
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Editorial – Thinking Differently

Golf is a game that doesn’t have to follow a certain blueprint for a player to be successful. Your swing doesn’t have to look a certain way, or your strategy conform to a certain philosophy.  You can be a short hitter, long hitter, straight hitter or a wild hitter and still compete at a high level. In today’s era, players’ swings look very similar versus 20-40 years ago. The use of technology and emphasis on employing golf teaching professionals has definitely aided in this.

Now comes along Bryson DeChambeau, a man who does not fit the mold of today’s players. Some call him more of a scientist than a golfer. Several think he’s odd due to his grips and one-length irons. Others might name him a tinkerer for using odd putters or styles. I like to look at him as an artist painting his own canvas, not someone else’s.

For Bryson, the way he plays works. He figured out at an early age that one-length irons would be a more effective way for him to play as opposed to the traditional-length irons. He uses grips that fit his style of swing versus fitting his swing to the style of grips. He found a putter and style that made sense to his thought process and understanding of what he wanted to do.

We teach a wide variety of students; some fit a certain mold while others do not. As golf teaching professionals, we need to adapt to our students’ philosophy, not the other way around. We need to think differently, teach differently and not be afraid to try or recommend alternative ways to play the game.

By Cole Golden, WGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional